How A Lesson At Little Aths Fuelled My Growth Mindset

“We need to get you running straighter.”

I remember my coach telling me this when I was in Little Athletics.

He knew the dream I had, to run in the Olympics.

But the problem was, my natural running style was a little sloppy. 

My feet would flare out (to the left and right), instead of staying in line with the direction I was running in.

So, even though I was fast, this innate technique I had was costing me.

So my coach came up with a plan to correct my running style.

He declared, with certainty:

“If you can run with the exact technique we want – deliberately for a while, it will become your new running style”.

I remember being very sceptical (in fact not believing at all) that I could simply change the running style I’d had my whole life. 🤔

I could only foresee it being something that I’d always have to modify and be conscious about.

However, I followed my coach’s advice.

Each time I’d sprint, I’d consciously ‘think about’ and really focus on my technique. 

It was possible to control, but it required deliberate, focussed effort that I didn’t want to have to sustain.

Week after week, I stuck to the game plan. Not believing it would make any difference….

But, to my surprise, after a while, it became so ingrained that my body picked up on auto-pilot. Just like my coach had said. 🙌

Soon I didn’t have to consciously ‘try’ to run that way anymore. My old way of running was gone and without any effort, I simply now ran straight.

With that new running style, I went on to win multiple State Championships. Individually and as part of relay teams.

In fact, here’s a photo of me receiving one of my State Championship Gold Medals back in the day. 🥇👇

That experience was life-changing.

Not for what it allowed me to achieve on the sports field though. For the life-changing lesson it taught me.

That even the most ingrained habits, or physical characteristics, CAN be changed. By changing our mindset.

I think it’s why I have such a growth mindset now. I truly believe anything is possible if you put your mind to it.


If something you’re doing isn’t serving you, whether it’s physical, emotional, or psychological, focus on what you want it to be. Over time, just like in my story, it will become your new way of operating.

We’re more receptive to change than most of us realise. We just need to focus on what we want.

Q – What are your thoughts? Have you had a similar learning experience?


Emily Edgeley is a Public Speaking Coach for the Technology industry. Since 2017 she’s run over 280 group coaching sessions, coached more than 250 people privately, and formally supported first time and experienced speakers at 10 Conferences, covering 1000+ people across the globe. 

She’s on a mission to help anyone in the Tech arena learn how to speak with clarity, impact, and confidence, whether that’s at work or at a Conference. So they can share their ideas, build their brand and start to enjoy ‘public speaking’!